Seattle’s Tina Bell is forgotten no more

Black and white photo of Tina Bell performing.
Black and white photo of Tina Bell performing.
Tina Bell. Photos courtesy of Scotty Ledgerwood.

When you think of grunge, do you picture a bunch of long-haired White guys in plaid shirts, singing about teenage angst and self-loathing? Time to expand that viewpoint. Standing above them all should be Tina Bell, a tiny Black woman with an outsized stage presence, and her band, Bam Bam. It’s only recently that the 1980s phenom has begun to be recognized as a godmother of grunge.

This modern genre’s sound was, in many ways, molded by a Black woman. The reason she is mostly unknown has everything to do with racism and misogyny. Looking back at the beginnings of…


File This Under Racism

That and more this week in race and racism

Getty Images

In our latest roundup of race-related news, there are stories that evoke sadness and righteous anger. But there’s also hope. In each of this week’s stories we find groups and individuals fighting for and achieving some measure of justice. And I end the segment with a real treat: MSNBC’s Joy Reid reading Fox host Tucker Carlson to filth. Here’s this week in racism.

Acid in the wound — Can you imagine having a law enforcement officer kill your loved one, then having that same officer’s colleagues mount a campaign of harassment against you and your family? A report by the…


Your weekend-ready, “Did you SEE that story?” cheatsheet

Jane Austen’s writing desk in England. // Getty Images

This week’s tour of race and racism news takes us from the English countryside to the world of “Quiet Storm” radio. The economic suffering of Black millennials, deadly environmental racism, and racist abuse on a college debate stage are also featured in this week’s roundup of stories you might have missed.

Pride and Prejudice (and Slavery)

A Jane Austen museum in Chawton, England has decided to include information about the Austen family’s ties to the slave trade. Austen’s father was trustee of a sugar plantation in Antigua, and many commonly used products in homes in Austen’s era…


This Week in Racism

That and more this week in race and racism

Photo by Krisztina Papp on Unsplash

There’s been plenty of racial/racism news on the front pages this week, with a conviction in one police killing at almost the exact same time as another was taking place. We learned that ex-officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd in Minneapolis, and as we were all processing what that meant, we found out police in Columbus, Ohio, had fatally shot teenager Ma’Khia Bryant.

But here’s some other important news that you also need to know.

Not at rest: Why the hell are the bones of two children killed in the notorious Philadelphia MOVE bombing in 1985…


That and more this week In Race and Racism

Two friends play video games./ Getty Images

The racial nonsense was thick this past week. From an adjustable hate speech slider for gamers to the racist roots of the District of Columbia’s federal disenfranchisement, here’s some of the race and racism news you might have missed.

“Computer: Decrease racism shields by 17 percent.”

How much White nationalism, body shaming and sexism would you prefer to experience today? Apparently Intel thought that answers other than “none” were acceptable, because it recently previewed a service that would allow video gamers to choose the degree of racism, misogyny or hate speech that comes in through their headsets from other players…


THIS WEEK IN RACISM

Your weekly dose of racist news to know

Activists shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago. It’s a highway that was constructed right smack dab in the middle of a prosperous Black-owned business and homeowner district.

This week’s look at the race and racism stories you may have missed offers plenty of examples of how the effects of racism permeate everything from the air we breathe to the roads on which we travel — but there are some glimmers of hope on the horizon. And this week’s bit of good news is proof that the mass movement against police brutality and for Black lives is bearing fruit.

When racism is in the polluted air we breathe: The Environmental Protection Agency’s new chief, Michael Regan, is ordering the department to use the “full array of policy and…


This week in racism

Also, turns out race-based hostility can happen when working remotely

People from Haiti and others who are seeking asylum in the United States sit and sleep outside the El Chaparral border crossing on February 19, 2021 in Tijuana, Mexico. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

It’s been a hell of a week. We’ll start with a trip to the underworld courtesy of Lil Nas X, learn what space travel has to do with the descendants of enslaved Africans in Brazil, and finish up with the next piece of Black Girl Magic that Marsai Martin is blessing us with. Here are some of the race- and racism-related stories you might have missed in the last week.

Good takes on hellscapes: Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” video continues to leave a trail of controversy in its wake, from the moral panic of Christians…


This sounds DREAMY. I think my problem at this point is really that all my devices are getting old, but I'm definitely looking into this once I upgrade everything.


Keep Close Watch

Stop explaining away Black people’s justified skepticism of vaccines

Security workers in front of the MedMen marijuana dispensary on March 23, 2021 in Evanston, Illinois. The City Council of Evanston voted to approve a plan to make reparations available to Black residents due to past discrimination. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Here are the racist (and anti-racist) news headlines you might have missed in the past week. We’ll start with the ongoing water crisis that might have escaped your attention because it’s not in Flint, Michigan, and finish with anti-racist muppets. How’s that for a contrast?

One of America’s Blackest cities doesn’t have safe water: A few weeks ago, I mentioned the thousands of folks in the overwhelmingly Black city of Jackson, Mississippi, who were still without drinking water weeks after back-to-back winter storms knocked out their service. But like a pimple that lies painfully under the skin before erupting, Jackson’s…

Stephanie Siek

Stephanie Siek is a writer and editor who loves cats, cookie dough and aborted alliteration.

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